by Deji Akingbade
There are some obvious things we all know we shouldn’t say to the ones we love. However, some things may not seem so clear. Here are a few questions you should never ask your partner.
1. Am I the best you have ever had?
It is understandable to wonder where you stand in your lover’s eyes when compared to past suitors. Asking the question though could put your partner in an uncomfortable position.
Remember two things: First, no matter who they were with in the past, there is a reason they are no longer with them. Second, confidence in the boudoir is sexy. Show your partner you are secure in the relationship. Also be willing to listen and learn to be better. Ask instead: “What do I do that you like? What/how could I do it better?”
2. Do you think you could fall in love ever again if I died?
We are all guilty of a little narcissism now and then, like wanting to believe that should we die the world would stop spinning and those around us would be crushed with mourning. Morbid, I know, but true nonetheless.
Temper these moments of narcissism by remembering that the world will keep going whether you are here or not. Think of the love and happiness you have with your partner and mentally allow them permission to find such love again should you be gone. If you find yourself dwelling on these thoughts, ask your partner: “Should I die, would you do something special once a year in honor and remembrance of the life and love once shared together?”
3. Do you like my mother/ family/ friends?
Our lives are filled with overbearing mothers, crazy family and annoyingly-goofy friends… but we love them because they are ours. When you and your partner make the decision to belong to each other, you unwittingly sign on to adopt whatever baggage your partner brings with them, which includes family and friends.
You have to have patience with your partner, as they may not automatically fall in love with all the other people you love. Don’t try and force it. It may come over time or it may never come at all. The important thing is how you feel about each other. Ask your partner if they will commit to spend one night a month with your family/friends in exchange for one night a month spent with theirs.
4. Are you done yet?
Communication is one of the most challenging aspects of a relationship and the bedroom is no exception. You and your partner could be compatible in nearly every way… except in regards of the timing of intimacy.
Some partners sprint to the finish before the race has even started and other partners are like the Energizer Bunny of marathons. Wait for a private, yet non-romantic time and ask your partner, “What is your ideal, sexual time frame?” Then you can work together to find a happy compromise.
5. What would you do if I cheated?
This should be a non-starter from the get-go, yet it is not uncommon to get into hypothetical discussions such as this. Asking this question though could put your partner in the uncomfortable frame of thinking about you cheating. This can lead to fear, doubt and uncertainty in the relationship, all based on a hypothetical question.
Instead of worrying about what they might do if you cheated, try and make sure that you are not giving them a reason to cheat. Ask them, “What could I do to make you happier or more satisfied?”
6. Do you think we will make it?
It is not new news how prevalent divorce has become in our society. But this hypothetical question has a similar pitfall as number 6. It implies that you doubt or fear that your relationship might not make it.
You and your partner are a team and to make it you must act as a team. Sit down with your partner and discuss mistakes you have seen others fall into or mistakes you yourselves have fallen into. Then ask, “What changes/practices could I apply to improve our long-term relationship?”
7. Can we afford that/ do you want me to pay for this?
A person’s financial-worth is often considered to be the same as their romantic-worth. This, combined with the fact that one of the most common problems in relationships are arguments about money, makes it easy to see why the topic of finance is sensitive
Asking if they can afford something or if you should pay for them can be extremely humiliating to your partner, especially when in public. Try to write a budget together and encourage each other to stay accountable. If you must ask these questions make sure it is in private and you are sensitive and understanding of the financial situation.
8. Are you really going to wear that?
This one sometimes slips out before we have really thought through the consequences of our words. You see your partner walking out dressed for dinner in that overused pair of sweatpants with the hole or that shirt they love that doesn’t quite fit them anymore, and the words seem to just volunteer themselves. Once said, the situation can be a hard one to salvage. Instead, try, “That looks nice. But I’d love to see you in that… outfit. Would you try it on for me?”
9. Have you gained/lost weight? Are you pregnant?
No matter the size, most people are a little sensitive when it comes to issues of weight. Still, it is not uncommon for us to make casual observations about other people’s appearance without thinking about the effect it may have on them.
Unless it is a compliment, it is usually best not to comment someone’s weight; this goes doubly so in reference to women suspected of being pregnant. If you must comment, leave it at, “You look great today – is something different?” If they want to expound on any bodily changes, they will; if not they will accept the compliment and move on.
10. Why do you always do that?
No matter how much you love someone, if you spend enough time with them, they will eventually begin to annoy you. This can lead to lots of silly squabbles that can pile up into a much bigger problem. Before you lose your temper and lash out over something trivial, remember that you are just as annoying to live with.
This is the person you love. Approaching with anger and frustration as you vent your feelings will only make them get defensive. Instead, tell them how you feel with patience and love. Make it an open dialogue by not only kindly telling them what they are doing that annoys you, but asking, “What are things that frustrate you, that I can work on?”
If you are still asking these questions in your relationship, you should probably stop. Try the alternative questions instead and hopefully you will find the results to be a peaceful and harmonious relationship.
Deji Akingbade is the author of “Be the Verb – Not the Noun”. He is also a management and leadership consultant in Houston Texas. He teaches his audience typically students and business professionals how labels limit our expression of purpose, passion and action. You are not your race, religion, gender, color, or sexual orientation. You are not a Noun. Instagram – betheverb_